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Can You Put a Car in Neutral Without a Key?


Many newbie car owners ask a common question to the experts. The question is: can you put a car in neutral without a keyHowever, here is a short answer by Hammer & Coop:

To put your vehicle into neutral, you do not need to insert the key into the ignition. Completely depress the clutch pedal and move the gear knob to the neutral position. 

However, I feel it’s vital for you to know that if this is your first time trying it, there is a possibility that it might endanger you. Moreover, the best action would be to search for a spare key or take help from an expert driver.

Furthermore, It is crucial for those who own cars to understand how to shift into neutral even without the key. Read this blog to have an understanding of the entire procedure.

How to Put a Car in Neutral Without a Key: Step by Step Guideline

Do you want to know how to put your car in neutral without needing a key in the ignition but don’t have one?

car gear shifting to neutral

If your key is lost or forgotten and you need to relocate your vehicle from one location to another, this can be pretty helpful.

However, using the following techniques, you can put your car in neutral without a key. 

The key steps are given below:

  1. Make Sure Your Car Is Safe to Crawl Under.
  2. Locate the transmission by crawling underneath the vehicle.
  3. The Transmission Cables must be disconnected.
  4. The car should be pushed.

Step 1: Make Your Car Safe to Crawl Under-

This procedure necessitates working underneath your vehicle. To keep your car safe, you must place a wheel block in the rear and front of each wheel.

This keeps your vehicle from slipping or skidding and makes it more stable. If you don’t use this technique, your vehicle is predisposed to roll backward or forwards.

However, it can lead to accidents that cause injuries and require a lot of paperwork to get insurance.

Step 2: The transmission may be found by crawling under the vehicle-

Crawling beneath your automobile must be done methodically. If you need to examine the underside of your vehicle to determine the position of the transmission, remember to have a flashlight with you. Your vehicle’s engine compartment is where you’ll find this.

Here are some of the best flashlights you can buy from Amazon:

Step 3: Terminate the Transmission Cables-

It is crucial to locate the cables that run alongside your car’s transmission system as soon as you find the transmission element itself.

The levers and switches attached to these cables must be pushed back two times after they have been disconnected to hear a click sound.

Step 4: Push the car-

After completing the previous procedure, you must exit your vehicle and push the car to see if the gearbox is neutral. Your automobile is neutral if it makes a small forward or backward movement while driving.

How to Place a Car in Neutral Without a Key if You Have a Dead Battery

Apart from an automatic gearbox, a manual transmission car would necessitate the driver to shift gears depending on the vehicle’s current state.

An automatic transmission system automatically shifts between ratios based on what the automobile needs to remove the uncertainty from shifting gears.

It can damage a vehicle’s transmission if the driver shifts gears when the car doesn’t need to, even if it has an automated gearbox.

The brake-shift interlock was developed to prevent the shift lever from mistakenly moving into neutral while parking on an uphill or changing into reverse unexpectedly while driving.

Since 2010 in the U.S., the brake-shift interlock is a little lever that stops the gears from shifting out of place.

This function also prevents the transmission from shifting to a new position without the driver using the brake. To transmit a release signal, the braking circuit must be in the “run” or “on” position of your vehicle’s key.

Neutral Your Car By Bypassing Shift Lock

Your car’s key won’t work if the battery is dead. Removing the shift lock on your vehicle even after applying the brakes is impossible.

When your automobile isn’t already in neutral, this becomes an issue because you’ll need to set the gear in this position to move it. 

Even while shift locks aren’t standard on all cars, the procedure is the same whether you have one or not. Engage the parking brake after turning the key to “on.” This will keep your vehicle stationary after you’ve shifted into neutral.

Check out the following procedures to learn how to bypass the shift lock and put a car in neutral without a key:

Step 1:

The shift lock release button should be easy to find on most cars. Your car’s console has a square plastic cover at the shift lever or dial. You can also recognize it by its little slot.

Step 2:

The manual park release may be found in the owner’s manual of your car if this section does not appear.

Step 3:

Remove the release tab cover from the shift lock.

Step 4:

Pry off the lid with a flathead screwdriver, so you don’t harm your vehicle’s console. Keep this cover somewhere secure in case you misplace it.

Step 5:

You can view a little tab by opening this portion of your console. Depending on your automobile type, you may use a flathead screwdriver or a key to push down or over the tab.

Step 6:

Check your vehicle’s owner’s handbook to see if the tab has to be pushed in a specific direction.

Step 7:

Put the shift lever or dial in a neutral position as you usually would while keeping the tab in place.

Step 8:

Make sure you remove the lid and release the parking brake before entering your vehicle.

Step 9:

When driving in this condition, always have a passenger in the car with you to help you steer and apply the brakes as needed.

Step 10:

When you’ve parked the car exactly where you want it, make sure to put the gearshift back in park and reapply the parking brake to keep it from moving about unexpectedly.


If you drive safely, you may put your car in neutral and drive off without risking being stranded by a dead battery.

You must put your car in neutral before you start the engine. To turn off your engine, you must first park. Set your parking brake and change into Neutral gear while you’re parked.

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